Zimbabwe: Covid-19 Plunges 50% of Zimbabweans Into Extreme Poverty – World Bank

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Sumary of Zimbabwe: Covid-19 Plunges 50% of Zimbabweans Into Extreme Poverty – World Bank:

  • The document entitled, Zimbabwe Economic Update, observes that the number of extremely poor citizens rose to 7.9 million, adding 1.3 million more people into the already existing poverty bracket in 2020..
  • The survey shows that nearly half a million Zimbabwean households have at least one member who lost his or her job, plunging many into poverty, while also worsening the plight of the existing poor..
  • Food insecurity was also exacerbated by inadequate reach or coverage of relevant social protection programmes with less than a quarter of the increased number of extremely poor households receiving food aid in June 2020..
  • “For example, as schools across the country closed in response to the lockdown measures, access to remote learning was limited in rural areas, especially for poor households..
  • Household loss of access to basic social services and deepening of negative coping strategies risk undermining Zimbabwe’s relatively high human capital and the pace and inclusivity of economic growth, according to the report..
  • The economic challenges and extraordinary shocks caused by the pandemic, and the drought and cyclone in 2019 provide opportunities to press forward with bold measures to protect lives and livelihoods..
  • World Bank Senior Economist and lead author of the economic update Stella Ilieva suggested the need to focus on welfare issues if lives are to be protected..
  • “Preserving lives during this unprecedented pandemic in this challenging economic environment will require a strategic approach to addressing underlying problems in the health sector…

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